The New Year is traditionally a sentimental, bittersweet, and reflective time. But upon reflection, all I can come up with is this:
Not for everyone. I sincerely hope 2014 was your best year yet, a harbinger of the even more amazing years you have in store. But if 2014 was good to you, you're the exception that proves the rule. Unless you got engaged, married, or had a baby - in other words, everyone on my Facebook feed - it probably sucked.
International news was a parade of horrors. I don't want to get into it. There was nothing funny about it. If you don't believe me, think about it for one minute and then try not to hide under the covers.
Domestic news was a depressing series of lose-lose partisanship battles. Same as above.
Even Hollywood, La La Land, a fantasy world of money, glamour, and escapism, could not escape the wrath of 2014.
Just ask Sony.
Or Bill Cosby, allegedly.
Or any starlet who thought the iCloud was private.
2014 sucked for me personally. My beloved grandmother died, my boyfriend and I broke up, my dog had a limp, I gained weight (then lost weight - a nice end result, but the process is not nearly as fun as gaining weight).
I could go on, but I'll spare you. I don't care to go over it myself. Suffice it to say:
I was a pickup truck short of a country song.
And I don't have a positive spin on it. There's no silver lining to not having my grandmother anymore. If you read us here, you know how much she meant to us. She was awesome and funny and cool, and I miss her all the time, but especially at the holidays. There's no silver lining to losing her.
Sometimes the only silver lining you get is to get through it.
So if you're at all like me, and you had a challenging year, I want to hug you and say this:
We made it.
And we all get a do-over starting next week.
Whether you envision the forward motion of the new year as one foot in front of the other, or as my fantasy of being shot out of a cannon after lighting the fuse myself, let's embrace it.
Time marches on whether we like it or not. And this year, I like it.
My bad attitude is freeing. In my haste to put 2014 behind me, I feel a good energy going into the new year, or at least, an excess of it.
Pedal to the metal.
No looking back, eyes on the horizon.
I welcome 2015. Bring it on.
If I survived the last twelve months, then I'm bulletproof.
This feeling was described to me back in 2008, when the author J.K. Rowling gave my college commencement address. In telling her story, she said:
"And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
I love this idea. I've been working on a novel for years, but I've been too busy (read: too scared) to seriously try to get it published. What if they don't like it? What if it needs another edit first? What if it isn't good enough? What if I've wasted all this time?
That's 2014 talking.
Now I realize it can't get any less published than it is sitting on my computer.
An iCloud leak may actually improve my chances at achieving my dreams.
My impatience for the next step, for progress, for change, for something, now outweighs my fear of failure. I have nothing to lose.
That's 2015 talking.
I'm not saying it's easy to stir up optimism after a period when you're feeling down. But it's never easy. Even when things go perfectly, you can get scared. You get the feeling that one false move could mess it up, that you have to be careful.
But if 2014 wasn't so great, be brave.
You don't like something about your life? Change it. Don't let another year go by before you try something different.
Because one year from now, on the next December 31st, when we count down our goodbye to 2015, you know what I want?
I want to miss it.